Power outages. They
are one of the biggest frustrations of this fast-paced technological era. We are dependent upon electricity for almost
every aspect of our daily lives and when its flow is unexpectedly interrupted,
most of us are less than happy about it.
A little planning and preparation can help alleviate the disruptions
caused by a power outage. Try these
practical steps to keep you and your loved ones safe and your life moving should
MAKE A POWER OUTAGE PLAN
It’s easiest to handle the unexpected when you already have
a plan in place. Make a plan, including
rules and expectations, and familiarize your family with it.
Meeting Place: determine a meeting place for the
family where emergency supplies are located.
A meeting place will help ensure everyone is safe and accounted for.
Delegate Responsibilities: whether it’s simply
you carrying out the steps, or if everyone else in the family has a job, such
as each child grabbing their own flashlight, etc, be sure to go over the plan
and each person’s part, in advance.
Create a list of emergency supplies and keep
them in a designated space.
Consider having a generator on hand for items of
necessity such as your refrigerator or any medical equipment requiring power.
ASSESS THE SITUATION
Know your surroundings.
It’s important to be aware of any details you’ll need to keep you and
your family safe, as well as report to the utility in the case of an
Can you see the actual problem? Are there any obvious dangers to avoid?
Note any downed power lines.
Be sure to stay away from and keep children and
pets away from fallen lines and anything the lines may touch.
Never remove debris that’s within 10 feet of a
REPORT THE OUTAGE
Your utility is responsible for keeping the electricity
flowing to your home. When you find
yourself without power, once you assess the situation, you should notify your
utility. It is always a good idea to
keep the phone number to your utility handy, preferably with your emergency
supplies and in your wallet or purse. You
can typically report an outage either via telephone or on your utility’s
Be sure to let the utility know the assessment of your
situation including downed lines. It is important to notify the utility if you
are using a generator in order to protect you, your family, and the line
workers as they work to restore power. Follow any instructions provided by your
utility until the power has been restored.
Some utilities offer text alerts to notify you of scheduled outages and
estimated restoration times.
WHAT ABOUT MY KIDS?
Have patience and plan for some fun. Unfortunately, power outages happen, and your
utility line workers will work diligently to get the flow of electricity back
to your home as quickly as possible. You
can make this less scary or frustrating for children by having a few activities
planned out, such as games or storytelling by flashlight, having some
non-perishable snacks or foods and bottled water on hand, and simply reassuring
them the situation is only temporary.
HELPFUL TIPS TO KEEP YOUR FAMILY SAFE
Have flashlights on hand and check their
Keep a battery or fuel powered portable heater available
for winter emergencies, and a battery powered fan on hand for outages during
Only operate lanterns, heaters, and fuel-fired
stoves with proper ventilation.
Refuel heaters, lamps, and generators outside,
and wipe up spills immediately. Stay away from flames or sparks.
Never burn charcoal indoors. It releases
poisonous carbon monoxide.
Do not let children carry candles or oil lamps.
Have battery powered cellphone and device
chargers available if a land line cannot be utilized.
Unplug major appliances to protect them when the
power comes back on.
Leave a light turned on so you know when power
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